It took 75 years for the Cascade Reds to include a home run contest in their semi-pro tournament, but it’s safe to say it was well worth the wait.
Cascade’s baseball ambassador Jake Wagner won the inaugural event, held between games July 25 at the Cascade American Legion Post 528 Semi-Pro Tournament.
Wagner was the contest’s only participant, a fact that surprised event organizer Rich Knepper. “I put this out on Facebook, Twitter, everywhere, but Jake was the only one to sign up,” Knepper explained to the crowd.
Wagner has been a fixture of Reds’ baseball for the past 15 years and often takes cuts in the hitting cage. That practice in the cage paid off as Wagner faced Cascade Reds 300 game-winner Pat Weber in the contest.
Weber, coming off a start in the Reds’ Legends game last week, was hit hard by Wagner, who sent several early Weber offerings to the infield skin.
Weber made a crucial mistake, throwing behind Wagner after a particularly hard-hit ball by Wagner. It was a mistake that would come back to haunt Weber.
Wagner dropped his bat and stared down Weber, pointing his finger at him and letting him know he’d pay for throwing behind him. But instead of charging the mound, Wagner picked up his bat and let his hitting do the talking, sending a couple more Weber offerings to the infield skin to the delight of the crowd.
After the contest, Mike Weber, from American Legion Post 528, presented Wagner with a trophy for winning the event.